March 22, 2011 in Volkswagen Bus
Those that know me, I’m a do it yourself-er. Most of the time with good results… sometimes bad, with a small side of crash and burn. I gutted and built Ngon with my wife from the ground up; three weeks after our wedding. I built all the tables on Christmas eve and day and built the bar in my garage.
I also have many interests. I grew up in the restaurant industry with my parents business but had many different side jobs. My college degree was actually in economics and minor in sculptural art. So my interests and skills spread the gamut. I saw building the VW food bus as a fun time and a chance to do some craft work again. The basic plan for the bus is to keep me creative in making food and have fun at the same time. I don’t plan on making the same things all the time but create items based on what I feel like doing. I’ve always wanted an ice cream truck; this will give me a chance to do this with our house made ice cream. I want to make more traditional Vietnamese dishes my way, like thit kho, but as a sandwich. Of course, I’ll be serving some of our usual staples on rotation. I hope to take it to downtown St. Paul, Turf Club at night, “back to the 50s” cruising nights on University Ave., businesses on request, and wherever the city will allow me. I’ll take request so feel free to send them to me.
My first two goals were to strip the paint off the bus to assess how much restoration needed to be done and cut off the roof. Cutting off the roof was going to be the fun part, taking off paint is about as fun as watching it dry.
After the paint and roof were off, I realized that the project was going to take a little longer if I was going to do it right. There were a lot of rust holes and patching that needed to be done. There were many cases of structural bondo from the previous owner. There were many rust through holes in the body and floor. Plenty of hole patching and new body panel welding was done over the next few months. Here’s a gallery of some of the before and after body work.
NEXT: Part III / Painting the bus